ARC Review: The Last Summer by Jacquelyn Eubanks

Title: The Last Summer
Author: Jacquelyn Eubanks
Rating: ★★
 (3/5 Stars)
Kindle Edition, 206 Pages
Published May 2012

So, as you can probably tell from the title, this book is about baseball. Granted, that may not be a popular topic for everybody, but I actually enjoyed it! Here's a quick description of the story:

"For a small Georgia town in 1955, things aren't always what they seem. Charlotte "Charley" Mason is viewed as your average weirdo tomboy by pretty much everybody - except her best friends, eight boys who play on a summer-long baseball team. In her team, she's viewed as an equal, unlike her home and school life. If she isn't being taunted by the Pretty Posse or Biff Richardson's gang, then she has her mother pressuring her to be a perfect little lady. These past years have made her tougher and stronger, especially with her two best friends, Frankie and Arthur, by her side. And then of course there's her Grandpa, who once was a professional baseball player for the Yankees, who passed on his passion of the game to her. He gave her the beloved signature Yankees baseball cap that she always wears. So you can imagine she's ready for a summer to remember...the only thing standing in her way is the sudden, out-of-the-blue fact that she is moving to New York on August first. She realizes she has one shot at making her last summer in Valia Springs worth while."

Being a Yankee fan myself (plus residing in their home state), I could relate with all of the baseball stuff. And Frankie sounds amazing and adorable. Just saying. 

Usually authors have a hard time portraying tomboy characters because, well, it's pretty difficult. I mean, a girl acting like a guy but not too much of a guy? It's a fine line, and Eubanks pulled it off perfectly.

However, there were a couple parts of the story that threw me off a little bit. For starters, the story kept switching from past tense to current tense. In one part of the book, it will say something along the lines of *"I screamed as loud as I could and then I ran down the hill." But then a few sentences later, it will switch tense and be in the present, such as, *"I look at Grandpa, unsure of what I should do."

It's simple English that we've always been taught--do not switch tenses in a story! *Shrugs* It's an understandable mistake, though. Even in high school, I catch myself making those mistakes all of the time. But if it's a published work, it should be fixed, right?

There were also a couple of typos and grammatical errors, but that happens to everybody when you publish electronically, so there's not much to really say about that.

As for Charley and her story, I loved how it was set in 1955, and all of the historical facts surrounding the story (such as the Yankee players at the time, popular news headlines, and popular songs) were pretty accurate. That's an important part of writing a story--the historical facts need to line up. 

As for the whole *spoiler alert* Frankie and Charley kiss right before she left, I still don't know how I feel about that. It was so romantic *swoon*, but also a bit unrealistic. Charley's parents shelter her so much, but then Frankie kisses her in front of everybody, and nobody says anything? Her whole team, her parents, and even her grandparents don't say a word--Charley just kisses Frankie, hops in the car, and then they leave.

As unrealistic as it may be, it was still pretty dang cute.

I'm extremely impressed that a teen author managed to get professionally published through Miss Literati. Even though that's actually becoming quite common (through authors like Amelia Faith and a few others), it's quite a feat.

Best of luck to Eubanks in her future books! :-)**

*Not an actual excerpt from the book.

**Note: An ARC copy of this book was provided to me through the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions and observations stated in this review are all my own, with no outside influence.

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